Toll-quality telephony versus Internet or cable modem telephony. What are the quality and delay targets in IP-telephony and cable telephony? What are the consumer expectations? Is there a business case for AM-radio-grade telephony? What is the competitive landscape?
Audio/video streaming at lite-ADSL, cable modem, and wireless speeds. Are user expectations going to be tied to television quality? What is the longevity of partial-screen solutions? What is the competitive landscape?
Uploading of information from a home. What are the primary cases for upload-speed on demand? What are the demands of such applications as telemedicine, teleworking, home publishing? Is there a case for symmetric uplink and downlink?
Definitive answers to these questions do not exist, but as applications mature, it will be possible to understand and quantify them at least implicitly and qualitatively.
At this time, compression technologies are mature. Although it is difficult to define the fundamental limits in the game, typical data rates for specified levels of quality are generally known. Increasing compression ratios will become the preoccupation of specialists. Likewise, decoders and clients will become pervasive and affordable. New advances in first mile and first meters multimedia communications will depend increasingly on advances in access speed and on innovations in networking.